Japan likely to increase defence spending due to isles row: Media
TOKYO (REUTERS) - Japan's government is likely to increase defence spending for the first time in 11 years, Japanese media reported on Saturday, as newly elected Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledges a sterner response to a territorial dispute with China.
The government is considering increasing defence spending by around 2 per cent to more than 4.7 trillion yen (SS$65.7 billion) in the fiscal year starting in April, the Mainichi newspaper reported. It gave no source for its information.
The extra spending would be used to increase personnel in the ground self-defence forces and upgrade equipment for land, air and maritime forces, the Asahi newspaper also reported on Saturday. It also did not cite any sources.
Japan's Defence Ministry has scrambled F-15 fighter jets several times in recent weeks to intercept Chinese marine surveillance planes approaching the disputed islands near Taiwan. The islands are known as Senkaku in Japanese and the Diaoyu in Chinese.